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Questions and Answers About Dogs

Updated on October 15, 2007

Copyright: David the Dogman

Question: Is it better for my female to have one litter of puppies?

Answer: If you are an ordinary family and not experienced my advice is to have her spayed and leave it to the professionals. Your female may not be suitable for this purpose. I have no doubt your vet will confirm this to you.

Question: Is it best to spay a bitch before her first heat or after her first heat?

Answer: A number of vets may suggest that a bitch should be spayed at about 5/6 months. Whilst writing this book the American Veterinary College is now recommending as young as 8 weeks . However I have found that this can have some behavioral effects in the second or third year. I recommend that it is best to allow a female to come on heat and allow her to develop, and after three months to have her spayed. This is not a complicated operation. Most owners are unaware that a females behavior will start to change due to hormone influence about 8 weeks prior to the heat . There are a whole host of opinions including preseason spaying and not to spay at all.

Question: Do you have any advice for children that are afraid of dogs, and how not to get bitten?

Answer: A very good friend of mine Terry Ryan (who is a lady ) who works out of Washington University formed an organization called Prevent-a-Bite. Due to the sad fact that one half of the children in the world will be bitten by a dog before the age of fourteen years, most before the age of nine. The following guidelines have been written by Terry which I support one hundred per cent.

1. Never touch a dog when he is feeding.

2. Don't tease your dog, his ears are not handkerchiefs to pull.

3. If chased by a dog while cycling, get off, place the bike between you and the dog and look away.

4. Avoid packs of dogs, if confronted, don't run away or scream.

5. If meeting a new dog, pat him on the side of the face, under the dogs chin or on the chest. Never place your head above a dogs head. Crouch down and approach on his level.

6. Ask the owner if it is okay to pat their dog. If it is, let the dog sniff your knuckles to show you are a friend.

7. Don't pat dogs in cars, it is a space they consider worth defending.

8. Don't try to separate dogs fighting, go for help.

9. Never approach a dog when it is chained up.

10. Never enter a house unless you have the owners permission.

Question: Why does my dog turn round and round when he is about to go to sleep?

Answer: When a dog is going to have a sleep, his instinct will make him turn his nose in the direction that he considers to be downwind. This way he can scent and smell danger.

Question: Whenever I wash my dog the first thing he does is roll on the grass and gets himself all dirty again, why is he so naughty?

Answer: The dogs instinct tells him that you have washed away his identity, it is very normal for dogs to carry out this kind of behavior. What I do when I have washed my dog, I put her in an outhouse to dry off, then let her out, she does not normally roll after that.

Question: Whenever I take my dog into the woods he always finds some droppings of other animals and rolls in it, he come back stinking, please can you tell me why he does this?

Answer: I am afraid that this is an old instinct of the wolf that is still in your pet. When wild dogs or wolves hunt they will roll in the dung of their prey. They are in fact trying to get the smell of the prey on them. This way they can get closer to kill the prey. I think we have all suffered from this instinct !

Question: My dog will not stop barking when the telephone rings and will not stop when I am talking, do you have any idea's?

Answer: The telephone is acting as a trigger, the phone rings you get up and start talking into the phone. The dog barks, you most probably shout out "be quiet" so now your dog has your attention and has made you bark! The best way to deal with this is to get a friend to phone you at agreed times, every 5/10 minutes. When the phone rings, don't move, look at the dog, do nothing. After about 3 or 4 rings the dog will not react again. Try it, it works.

Commitment, Firmness, but kindness.

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